The Navy has developed a new Offensive Missile Strategy (OMS) to replace an older plan and focusing on sustaining relevant weapons, upgrading existing systems, and developing new strike missile capabilities.

The Offensive Missile Strategy replaces the former Cruise Missile Strategy that outlined Department of Navy (DoN) plans to support cruise missile weapon systems and develop next generation weapons. The new strategy covers all non-nuclear offensive strike missiles with ranges over 50 nautical miles, according to written testimony provided to the Senate Armed Services Seapower subcommittee last week.

Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) prototype captive-carry flight tests on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
(Photo: U.S. Navy)

The statement was from Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts, Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, deputy Commandant for Aviation, and Rear Adm. Scott Conn, director of Air Warfare.

“The OMS construct supports a wider, more systematic approach towards delivering a capabilities balance to increase overall force effectiveness to address emerging threats,” the statement said.

The Navy said it will evaluate OMS through an iterative process.

“We will review existing and developing capabilities, leverage analytical processes/study updates, and assess threat/intelligence report updates to inform annual RDT&E and procurement funding priorities to achieve an optimal mix of offensive strike missile system capabilities,” the Navy officials stated.

Beyond sustaining existing relevant weapons systems and inventories, the OMS calls for the Navy to pursue strike weapon enhancements and develop “next generation strike missile capabilities to address emerging threats.”

“Under this initiative, we will develop near-term capability upgrades to enhance existing weapons that provide critical improvements to our current long-range strike weapons capabilities (e.g. Maritime Strike Tomahawk, new Tomahawk warhead (Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System), LRASM V1.1, SM-6/Block 1B, and the Naval Strike Missile,” the statement said.

The Navy’s Next Generation Land Attack Weapon (NGLAW) will be a new weapon that aims to provide the service with the capability to destroy fixed, station, and moving targets as well as hardened and defended targets, according to the statement. It said the NGLAW will be capable of kinetic land and maritime attack from both surface and sub-surface platforms.

The Navy is also working on the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 1 and 2.

OASuW Increment 1, the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), is geared against near/mid-term high value surface combatants that have an Integrated Air Defense System. That means their targets are defended by long-range surface-to-air missiles and “deny adversaries sanctuary of maneuver.”

The LRASM is built by Lockheed Martin [LMT]

The LRASM reached early operational capability (EOC) in early FY 2019 on the Air Force with B-1B bomber and is set to reach EOC with the Navy’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets before the fourth quarter of FY ’19.

The Navy’s FY ’20 budget request included $143 million to buy the LRASMs and $65 million to work on LRASM Version 1.1 development and testing.

The document argued the OASuW Increment 2 “is required to deliver the long-term, air-launched ASuW capabilities to counter 2028 threats (and beyond). The Department continues to plan for OASuW Increment 2 to be developed via full and open competition.”

The Navy plans to use the NGLAW Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) results to inform its required capabilities for anti-surface warfare capabilities. The service is pursuing incremental upgrades to the LRASM until it establishes a program of record for OASuW Increment 2. Increment 2’s AoA study is expected to be finished this year, with an eventual Initial Operating Capability planned for FY 2028-2030.

A Tomahawk taking to the skies. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

The testimony also gave a rundown on efforts by weapon system, including several key systems in this plan.

It noted the administration requested $320 million on research and develop for the Tomahawk cruise missile. This includes developing and testing navigation and communications upgrades to improve performance in Anti-Access/Area Denial environments, a Maritime Strike Tomahawk (MST) variant, a Global Positioning System M-Code capability, the Joint Multiple Effects Warhead System and Fuse, and Tactical Tomahawk Weapon Control System (TTWCS) and Tomahawk Mission Planning Center (TMPC) updates.

The TTWCS and TMPC updates “support all upgrades and address usability, interoperability and information assurance mandates.”

The Navy also requested $387 million to restart the Tomahawk production line, procure 90 all-up-round missiles, 156 navigation/communications kits, 20 MST kits, and completing 112 missile recertifications.

The Navy also requested funds for AIM-9X Sidewinder hardware redesign for obsolescence, continued testing of Small Diameter Bomb II to integrate on to F/A-18 E/F and F-35, Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM) upgrades and AARGM Extended-Range development; upgrade legacy Harpoon Block 1Cs to Harpoon 2+ for use on F/A-8 E/Fs and P-8s, and integrating the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile on the AH-1Z Viper helicopter.